Barrett’s Church observes Homecoming
Published 10:40 am Friday, September 2, 2016
by Merle Monahan
Barrett’s Christian Church was filled to capacity on Sunday when members, both former and current, and friends gathered to observe the 40th Homecoming service of the tiny church.
Always held on the fourth Sunday in August, the service is one of only two held at the little church on Barrett’s Church Road annually. The other is held at Christmas.
The 45-minute service started at 11:30 a.m. with remarks by Richard Simms, who has cared for the church since the death of his father, John, in 1996. John took care of the church for many years.
“We are happy to see so many of our friends and neighbors here,” said Simms. “Daddy would be proud.”
Following Simms’ welcome, memorial flowers at the service, which were given in memory of loved ones who had passed, were recognized. Music was provided by local musician, Rusty Lowe.
The Rev. Lafayette T. Wilkins, son-in-law of the Rev. Dr. Richard E. Brittle, conducted the service, with the serving of communion at its conclusion.
Simms then announced that lunch would be hosted by the church at the Southeast 4-H Educational Center, a tradition started 30 years ago. Prior to this, lunch had been served on the grounds, Simms said.
Barrett’s Church was organized in 1775, but little else is actually known about the church’s early days. Following the fire that destroyed the first building, however, the current structure was built. This was in 1888 and the services have been held there ever since.
With a capacity of just over 100, it looks much like it did when it was built. At the front, there are two doors to enter the church, one for men and one for women. Inside it is still heated by a stove in the center of the room, wood in the beginning and now oil. Simms said air conditioning was installed about five years ago.
Simms said services were held in the beginning on a weekly basis, then monthly and finally twice annually.
The services had dwindled to just homecoming, but John Simms always wanted to have a Christmas program, his family said. The first holiday service was held shortly after his death.
“We know he would be pleased,” his son has said.